We are pleased to announce that a new release of DART (The Designer's =20=
Augmented Reality Toolkit) is available for download from our website.
For those unfamiliar with DART, it is a powerful, extensible AR =20
authoring environment built on top of Macromedia Director. DART if =20
available for free; the license (which is meant to be very liberal) =20
is in each of the Director casts. DART is the product of a research =20
project aimed at understanding how a wide variety of people think =20
about creating experiences and systems that mix 3D virtual and =20
physical spaces. So, what we really would like in return is feedback =20=
(what you think, what works and what doesn't, and what you do with =20
it) and acknowledgment when you publish or distribute things built =20
For an overview of DART, please read the DART_Overview.doc available =20
in the download site, or for a more detailed look at the research =20
behind DART, please read our UIST 2004 paper, available at
(Blair MacIntyre, Maribeth Gandy, Steven Dow, and Jay David Bolter. =20
"DART: A Toolkit for Rapid Design Exploration of Augmented Reality =20
Experiences." Proceedings on conference on User Interface Software =20
and Technology (UIST'04), October 24-27, 2004, Sante Fe, New Mexico) =20=
(If you are going to be at SIGGRAPH, we will be presenting this paper =20=
in the "Reprise of UIST and I3D" session, as one of the best papers =20
from UIST last year!)
DART consists of a set of Lingo scripts and an Xtra plug-in that =20
extends Macromedia Director with support for live cameras, marker =20
tracking (using the ARToolkit or ARTag) and various hardware sensors =20
and distributed shared memory (using VRPN). We chose to develop on =20
top of Director as it provides a very full featured development =20
environment with an active developer community and cross platform =20
support (Win and Mac/OSX), something that academic software projects =20
do not often have. All the scripts are open and editable, allowing a =20=
developer to easily create new components as needed.
Some Highlights of version 2.0
In addition to significant bug fixes and general improvements =20
throughout the code and Xtra, some other highlights include ...
- Corrected scene hierarchy when loading 3D models. Now the parent-=20
child relationships are preserved.
- Better handling of animations. Now includes support for bones as =20
well as keyframe animations.
- Created a LightActor. Now you can place lights of all types in the =20
scene and control them with a Transform script just like any other 3D =20=
- Better 3D world cleanup. Fixed problems with 3D elements not being =20
removed from the world when they went out of scope.
- New set of 2D HUD components
- Improved TextActor that supports actions such as =20
programmatically setting the text, changing font etc.
- New OverlaySketchActor that allows you to display still and =20
animated images on the HUD.
- New OverlayMapActor that creates a 2D overhead map that =20
automatically shows the locations and orientations of actors and =20
cameras in the scene.
- New OverlayProgressBarActor that can be used to show a progress =20
bar on the HUD that can be controlled programmatically.
- Support for creating large numbers of cues and actions
- MultipleTimeCue lets you define lists of timecues in a textfile.
- MultipleActions allows you to define lists of actions for an =20
actor in a textfile.
- New FlashActor that allows you to texture-map Flash content (even =20
some interactive content) on ObjectActors. This feature will only =20
work under Director MX 2004 and later.
- New ReplayAR behavior that transparently buffers all video and 3D =20
transformations at runtime, giving you the ability to pause and =20
review live video and tracker data when the need arises.
- You can now use LiveVideo (e.g. for marker tracking) without having =20=
to display the video in the background. Both Live and Playback video =20
can be flipped horizontally and vertically.
- In LiveVideo, if you don=92t specify a data directory the system will =20=
use the directory =93Data=94 under the directory containing the Director =
- System performs sanity checks to see if the DART data directory and =20=
camera calibration file are present when using the LiveVideo script, =20
that the OpenGL renderer is being used (required for getting video =20
into the background efficiently), and that the Xtra is present.
- A much more robust way of finding the target video texture in the =20
- New DART-Debug cast that contains all debugging related behaviors.
- New MarkerDebugControls script that allows you to see the ARToolkit =20=
thresholded image with corner dots on detected markers while =20
modifying the threshold value.
- Support for ARTag marker tracking (can be used instead of ARToolkit).=